What can a student expect to learn after two semesters of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese or Spanish? Although students shouldn't expect to become fluent in a foreign language after only two semesters of study, the benefits of studying a foreign language are significant and could eventually be a student's passport to success.
Gain A Competitive Edge
Having linguistic competence will assist a student in ways he or she did not even know or could not even imagine.
Learning a foreign language can help a student understand English better. It trains analytical and interpretative thinking (e.g., great preparation for the LSAT, GMAT, GRE, MCAT, and other graduate school entrance exams). Research has shown that math and verbal SAT scores rise with each additional year of international study. Some students remark that their grasp of English grammar and vocabulary has improved after studying a second language.
If a student is considering graduate school, his or her application will look especially attractive if the student can show that he or she has had several semesters of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish. Some graduate schools even have foreign language requirements for many of their programs.
Know Your World and Beyond
Having cultural competence will connect a student to avenues that would have seemed out of reach otherwise.